By: Thomas Siebertz
Why is it so hard to put down that bag of salty, crunchy chips? When we eat certain foods, chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are released in the brain, which makes us “feel good.” As food science students, we know what goes into creating and marketing new products, but how is the industry using food science and what are the ethics behind it? In the NY Times Article “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” Michael Moss tells us his side of the story.
He describes studies and focus groups aimed at creating products that are cheap and lack good nutrition. It is in a company’s best interest to sell more products, but at what cost? We have seen an epidemic of public health issues linked with the consumption of food high in sugar, salt and fat, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Although food is only half of the obesity epidemic equation, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed on a larger scale. Junk foods will likely always have market share, but many companies have begun to adapt to the changing needs of the consumer and offer products that are healthier but still convenient. Companies are now listening to the consumer more than ever and we should be encouraged to demand products that are healthy and as affordable as possible.
The article goes into much greater detail on the topic, and while the author neglects to recognize the positive contributions of food science, I invite everyone to read it. It applies to all of us because we are all consumers, and it gets us thinking about the products we eat and why. For those of us who are food science students and are going to be the new generation of food scientists, I think it conveys an important message about the ethics of what we do.
To read the article, click here
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think it’s unethical to create less healthy foods that are cheap or are consumers using that as an excuse to not eat better?
Photo credit: thenutritionpost.com